Volume 91, Issue 55
Wednesday, January 7, 1998
Monkey business 257: Reports of exam cheating investigated
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
More than 800 students enrolled in Western's Business 257 classes may not be finished with Christmas exams due to two unconfirmed reports of cheating.
Students were informed of the situation earlier this week in a memo sent out by Richard Ivey School of Business director of the Honours in Business Administration program Michael Pearce, who is urging anyone with information to come forward.
Anonymous calls reporting the offense came after the Dec. 16 examination and have resulted in an ongoing investigation which will continue until Monday when a decision will be made as to whether a re-examination is necessary, Pearce said.
There is also concern the calls may have been fake and students who did poorly on the Christmas exams may have added to or created a situation which could result in an exam re-write, he said. "Our real concern is that we do not penalize honours students."
The threat of having to redo the examination has some students upset but many are not completely opposed to the idea, including third-year economics student Scott Sykes who did the four hour December exam in just over two hours. "It's kind of a bummer but I'd probably do better on the next exam."
Others such as second-year administrative and commercial studies student Elli Cohen questions the security of the procedure. "I don't understand how this could have happened."
Pearce said there is no reason to believe there was faulty handling of the exam papers since the required procedure from printing to distribution of test papers is very strict and includes the use of new material as much as possible. "We try everything short of using a Brinks truck."
Rumours of the exam paper being filtered through teaching assistants were also put to rest by pre-business program director Elizabeth Grasby who confirmed course teaching assistants do not receive the exams beforehand. Most T.A.s, such as Neeloy Devani and Patrick Spence, refused to comment, adding they have been told by professors not to answer any questions.
VP-academic Greg Moran said this particular problem has not yet been brought to his attention but he will extend his full support to the Ivey School of Business in seeing guilty parties are appropriately punished.
"We obviously frown on cheating," Moran said. "Academic offenses such as cheating or plagiarism attack the heart of the institution."
A similar situation occurred two years ago when an individual cheated on a Business 020 exam, but Pearce said there was clear evidence of cheating in the previous occurrence as the actual test paper was found and action could be taken immediately.
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